SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

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Southern Comfort
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SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Southern Comfort » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:47 pm

A brief look at the SSG website shows up some things which clearly need attention.

First of all, perhaps a simple oversight, but there seems to be no mention of the 2018 Spring Gatherings. You can find details of the 2017 Gatherings, but not this year's. And yet I assume they are starting very soon now. Why aren't we publicizing them so that folk can book?

Secondly, and rather more insidious, I would like to know who is responsible for the SSG's twitter feed. It seems to tweet and retweet all kinds of stuff from all over the place without any regard for appropriateness or even accuracy.

Very recently, there has been a lot of stuff advertising events that the RSCM is putting on. That's all well and good, but why not advertise stuff that the SSG is putting on, such as the Spring Gatherings I just mentioned?

Far more disturbing, a recent tweet about Readers (Lectors) links to a piece on the New Liturgical Movement website by Peter Kwasniewski which references a practice at St Thomas Aquinas College, California, where only vested altar servers are allowed to do the readings. Is the SSG thereby endorsing this practice? The fact that it is there on the Twitter feed would seem to indicate so.

Does the SSG's tweeter not know that NLM is a well-known traditionalist website? That Dr Kwasniewski is also a well-known traditionalist author? That he betrays what seem to be clear psychosexual hang-ups (at least judging from this article and others that I have had occasion to read previously)? That St Thomas Aquinas College is well-known as one of the most traditionalist in the USA (and that's saying something)?

I have previously noticed other questionable tweets, too.

I seriously wonder who is supervising all this electronic media activity on behalf of the Society, and can't help thinking that anyone looking at the website to see what values the SSG stands for would get a misleading impression from things such as the extremist stuff about Readers just mentioned. Do we have an overseer of media communication? If not, it looks as if we need one.

MaryR
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by MaryR » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:35 am

On behalf of the trustees, I'll try and respond to some of the points made by Southern Comfort.

Firstly, the information relating to Spring Gatherings and Summer School has just been approved by the Communications Team and should go onto the Website in the next couple of days. It would have been difficult to put the Spring Gathering information up sooner since we've had to switch two of the venues at the last minute and this has meant a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with other potential venues to find dates to suit. This is also why we've not yet advertised on Twitter.

Summer School takes a huge amount of effort behind the scenes before we can begin to advertise and it all came together just before Christmas when our priority was to get the booking form ready to print, to go out in the next edition of the journal. We're all volunteers, and many of us with full time jobs. Organising SSG events takes almost as many hours a week as a full time job so there's a lot of burning the midnight oil. We always start out with the best of intentions in terms of getting everything done early, but the best laid plans and all that. :-)

Hasn't communication come a long way in the years since SSG began? We're really lucky to have a team who are willing to ensure that SSG doesn't get left behind, communicatively speaking. The purpose of the Twitter feed isn't to make SSG policy pronouncements; it's to bring hot topics for discussion to the attention of our members and followers. If all we ever posted was things we agreed with from sites on exactly our wavelength, we'd be a one party state. Sometimes it's good to post things that you hope will provoke a response! ;-) We're still learning, though it's useful to bear in mind that SSG members and followers hold a wide range of opinions, and we hope to be a broad enough church to accommodate (almost) all of them!
Mary

Southern Comfort
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Southern Comfort » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:58 am

Thank you, MaryR, for this response.

I would be the first to acknowledge the massive amount of behind-the-scenes voluntary work that goes into putting on SSG events. I'm sure everyone appreciates that very much! And I'm very sorry to hear about the problems in rearranging some of the Spring Gatherings. I do think, though, that it would have been possible to have inserted a simple holding sentence on the website for this year's Spring Gatherings, along the lines of "2018 Spring Gatherings — more details coming soon!". Only having details of the 2017 Gatherings makes it look as if the SSG is out of date.

Regarding the twitter feed, I think the "broad church versus one-party state" argument is a false one. For better or worse, SSG tweets are not just for members. Casual browsers — and there are many of them — form an opinion of the Society according to what they find on the Twitter feed, and I know that people do in fact judge the SSG on this basis. Many other websites link to the SSG site. I'm quite sure that (re)tweeting links to extremist sites is not fulfilling the SSG's mission, particularly where there is no discussion or follow-up as is the case here. In the example I mentioned, the uninformed would have assumed that the SSG supported the position that only vested altar servers should be readers, and that only males are allowed to fulfil the role. I'm sure the Trustees would not be in agreement with that! I can't think why that link was even posted.

There are many blogs and sites devoted to the "reform of the reform" and to those who want to undo everything that Vatican II stands for, a proportion of them vicious and vitriolic. There are far fewer sites and blogs devoted to a post-conciliar vision of liturgy and music. We should be in the business of maintaining that vision, and not indiscriminately (re)tweeting just anything because it happens to relate in some way to liturgy and music.

I'm not saying that we should not discuss things we don't agree with, but we need to present a balanced viewpoint. In the absence of proper discussion, if something controversial is to be said about readers, then we should also include references to, or even selected extracts from, Church documents, for example. The person responsible for tweeting needs to show discernment in this regard. If balance is not possible, given the limitations of the Twitter medium, then certain things should not be posted there. Once again, I ask whether the SSG needs some form of oversight of electronic communications to help ensure that errors of judgement are not made.

oopsorganist
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:17 am

I just wonder - since I don't do Twitter and hardly know what it is- only that it is dangerous in the hands of an idiot ( thinking of one in particular) - if the SSG could in fact be quoted as an organisation that supports any extreme views in Liturgy, by somehow referencing the Twitter thing.
It becomes a published statement without accountability.
uh oh!

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Nick Baty
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Nick Baty » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:23 pm

Like so many organisations, the SSG relies on a faithful few who work tirelessly for the society. It would seem a tad churlish to grumble if things are not as others would like them. And I'm reminded of the lady who always complains about quality of the after-Mass biscuits but has yet to donate any – or fill the kettle, for that matter.

As for the Tweets, RTing is simply a shorthand for "Look at this" and neither condemns nor condones the original.

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VML
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by VML » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:04 am

To answer SC's question, I wonder if other users and people who usually comment here are having the same problem as I have had for the last three months. I have not been able to log in, and I have noticed that each time I have looked at the forum, the legend that says how many are online notes numbers of 'guests' but no 'Registered members' except Google Bot, Yahoo Bot or Bing Bot.

There are a few things I hoped to reply to, but have just not managed to get in. Now I have, please can anyone tell me if this may have been the reason for the lack of activity.
Thanks

oopsorganist
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by oopsorganist » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:13 am

Yes I had that problem or a similar one.
I thought I was banned for complaining about the biscuits!
I forget how I got round it. But it has left me with a password so long and strange .... and there does not seem a way to change your password. This is not the biggest problem in the world but it is a bit awkward.
And I have wondered much, that the forum is so quiet.
There used to be a message from the forum, an alert, if someone had posted on a thread, via email, but that seems to have gone.
Hi VML.
uh oh!

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VML
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by VML » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Hello oops, and thank you for responding. I just wonder how many still can't get in.

alan29
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by alan29 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:56 pm

I think declining membership is happening to plenty of other boards. That is certainly the case with others that I haunt.

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Gwyn
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Gwyn » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:15 am

Far more disturbing, a recent tweet about Readers (Lectors) links to a piece on the New Liturgical Movement website by Peter Kwasniewski which references a practice at St Thomas Aquinas College, California, where only vested altar servers are allowed to do the readings. Is the SSG thereby endorsing this practice? The fact that it is there on the Twitter feed would seem to indicate so.

Does the SSG's tweeter not know that NLM is a well-known traditionalist website? That Dr Kwasniewski is also a well-known traditionalist author? That St Thomas Aquinas College is well-known as one of the most traditionalist in the USA (and that's saying something)?
And the problem with Traditionalist would be?

oopsorganist
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:54 pm

Would that be a term for those who defy and deny Vatican 2 - or a term for people that preserve and respect history and heritage? Depends what you mean by traditionalist or what you think others mean by traditionalist. And a capital letter for the /t/ has an impact too.
uh oh!

Southern Comfort
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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:57 pm

Gwyn wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:15 am
And the problem with Traditionalist would be?
I'm sure you know that many of these websites are intent upon undoing what Vatican II brought about, can be vitriolic about those whom they brand as "not real Catholics" (i.e. us), and frequently express defiance if not outright hatred of Pope Francis. I don't think the SSG should appear to be endorsing their views.

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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by nazard » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:20 pm

I agree that some traditionalist web sites do seem to be trying to undo what Vatican 2 brought about, but most seem to be trying to undo things which happened after the council, but were not mandated by it.

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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by Gwyn » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:26 pm

I see. Thank you.

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Re: SSG Communications - what the heck is going on?

Post by JW » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:39 pm

Traditionalism isn't only about liturgy, if it were it wouldn't be such a problem. There's a very extensive Wikipedia article on traditionalist Catholicism. It lists many traditionalist groups that are in full Communion with Rome and many who aren't.

At it's extreme incarnation, traditional catholics subscribe to Sedevacationist theory and operate outside the Church because they teach that Vatican 2 led to heretical teachings by the Church and by the Pope (It won't do to claim that these groups weren't against Vatican 2, only against liturgical reforms that ensued). It's worth remembering that many posters on Catholic Social Media are not, in fact, in Communion with Rome.

The Wikipedia article doesn't discuss the hateful comments that many of them post, nor the trolling that they seem to engage in. Nor does it mention that many focus on abortion and homosexuality to the exclusion of other moral issues; many are also on the extreme right politically and consider such right wing views as the only morally acceptable views to have.

A good example of traditionalist social media is the twitter account of Nick Donelly (@ProtecttheFaith). He is a deacon still in communion with the church, I believe. Traditionalist parish priests include Fr Tim Finegan in Margate and Fr Ray Blake in Brighton, whom it must be stated are allowed by their bishops to stay in post despite their frequent criticisms of Pope Francis on social media.
JW

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